One of the biggest challenges I've been involved in this year is helping Jim do the counting team for our church. The biggest church in about four counties. Lots of money flowing through it weekly.
The other part of that challenge is that people just burn out, or feel unappreciated and quit without notice. Family members die, emergencies happen and that crazy old sun just keeps rolling around all day. My point being that you cannot predict the needs and behaviors of others.
It's been going better over the course of the last year since Jim took over....until recently. We got a new lady to run the church financials. She's young, she's extremely introverted, but the problem is that she does not have a clue how to handle, talk to or treat anyone volunteering. We've had people quit the team in the last few months after flubbing up some aspect of counting and having the new financial admin come down on them like a merciless pile of bricks.
I've gotten caught in her pile-on myself. Last month I had to count three different times and she thinks nothing of calling me in, me, and I'm not even the head of counting, and making me fix the deposit.
This has all been adding to the stresses of this likely overseas move, adding to my crazy spiked up and down blood pressure. When I spiked the high blood pressure and ran away from from the ER one of the things I did was immediately quit everything to do with the counting team except for my one Sunday a month I did agree to count at. That I can handle and my counting partner Sharon and I work well together, like a well-oiled machine. It's not stressful and we both have specific roles we do well.
Last night was supposed to be a training for the teams to bring everyone up to speed run by our new financial lady. I'd already told Jim I was not attending because I'm just done trying to help this lady and the team.
The first job I was able to score when we were living overseas on a military base was being the volunteer coordinator and outreach for the USO. I learned quickly that you have to oh so carefully couch your words and directions without any blame or negative even if the volunteer did everything short of wipe their butt with your desk calendar. People are touchy about any criticism over their level of competency if they are volunteering and they have a point. Volunteering is a choice and completely controlled by the volunteer. You make someone doing something good feel bad about their actions and they will leave.
I took those lessons forward into my life and through my years at my old church and always remembered to treat those helping out with gratitude, even when they messed up, like we all do because we're human. It's helped to remember these things during helping Jim out.
But Jim kept twisting my arm, insisting I go, even as he knew I'd already knocked heads with the finance lady more than once now over things like coming up with a counters policy. I went. I knew I shouldn't have immediately because I could feel my blood pressure riding once it was obvious that finance lady was not going to train the teams, like she was supposed to be doing, like she was paid to do in this time. She was standing around watching others counting last Sunday's offering without offering any suggestions, explanations or real help. Definitely no training at all.
I kind of had absolutely had it by that point, and I jumped in to help, make suggestions and explain why we were doing things the way we were. She was there to train and would not train. Weirdest thing ever.
By the time she took out her one page policy page and gave it around I'd kind of had it. I snapped at her that one brief page was not adequate because most of everyone on the teams did not have an understanding of the software program without a breakdown step by step. I'd already told her this several times before via email when she sent it to me and she'd never bothered to reply to me.
I realized a couple of things. It's not my job to train those people, it's hers and she should be doing it. I'm not on this planet to pick up the slack of other people. Also, this is stressing me out to the point where I'm behaving in a very unpleasant way, snapping at her and jumping in to train these folks when she wouldn't. I stopped and left the training right then and there because I don't like the way this is making me feel. I hate flipping the bitch switch, but something had to happen. I went home.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is realize when a situation is stressing you out and making you act like you normally would not act, like a bitch, and removing yourself immediately.
Thank you flying spaghetti monster that we are leaving the country soon and I will NEVER have to worry about if the count is done and if I'm going to be called into the church to recount in the middle of the week.